Learn How to Make Healthier Hot Chocolate

Make hot chocolate the right way, with the ingredients to make it a healthful treat!
487390253

487390253

Hot chocolate with foam in two mugs

Nothing hits the spot in winter like a good cup of hot cocoa. While some recipes call for cream and melted chocolate, yielding an intense, decadent dessert, the one we spell out here shows you how healthy (and delicious) hot cocoa can be. That’s right, healthy. Pair it with popcorn and you have one of our favorite winter snacks. Let’s show you how to make it, shall we?

Select the right milk: This depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in your hot cocoa. Unsweetened almond milk will give you the lowest-calorie drink, but it’s pretty shy on nutrients (although the fortified kind will give you calcium). Cow’s milk gives you protein, calcium and vitamins A and D. Choosing low-fat or reduced-fat milk will give you a bit of the creaminess of milk, with fewer calories than whole milk.

Add cocoa: All that positive news about chocolate and your health? It’s talking about cocoa powder. Cocoa powder (and specifically natural cocoa powder rather than the Dutch-processed kind) has antioxidants, which promote blood flow — a benefit that may help with memory and heart health. Use a heaping tablespoon per cup of milk.

Sweeten it (lightly): Let the bitterness of cocoa shine by using a minimal amount of sweetener. Use a teaspoon of sugar or, for an extra dose of antioxidants, a drizzle of maple syrup. For a sugar-free treat, you can use a touch of stevia. A bit of vanilla extract also adds a sweet flavor without sugar.

Spice it up: Cinnamon, cardamom and ginger all pair well with cocoa and deliver a host of antioxidants, as well as flavor.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make A Healthier Soup

As the cold weather sets in, bone warming soups really hit the spot. But there’s no need to pack on the heavy cream pounds when indulging in a delicious bowl of goodness.

How to Make a Healthier Pound Cake

Not every pound cake has to pack on the pounds! Food Network Kitchens developed this healthier take by making a few simple switches to the classic.

How to Make Healthy Cooking a Family Affair

Including kids in the kitchen can have numerous benefits beyond an extra pair of little hands assisting us.

How to Make a Perfect Chocolate Souffle

A perfect rich-yet-airy chocolate souffle is the ultimate wow-factor Valentine’s Day dessert. But souffles can be intimidating, both for expert bakers and novice cooks.

Homemade Hot Chocolate + New Treats to Make with It

If you have more hot cocoa powder on your hands than you know what to do with, we've got ways to use it for treats that might be even better than the drink.

Fun Cooking: How to Make Chocolate Tacos

Food Network Magazine shows you how to put a salty spin on an old ice cream-truck favorite, the Choco Taco.

The 7 Sides You Need at Thanksgiving (And How to Make Them Healthy) — Fall Fest

These Thanksgiving sides are just as satisfying as the classic recipes you're used to, just with less sugar and fat.